This summer, Carson Goos ’21 participated in a Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty (SHECP) internship with the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, an organization that advances complex care by implementing programs and piloting new models to address chronic illness and social barriers to health and well-being. As an intern, Goos talked with patients to determine their needs and helped guide them to resources.
What was your role at the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers?
I worked on the organization’s social determinants of health screening and referral program. I talked to women who had been at an OB-GYN practice ... I asked questions about social needs, and then recorded [their answers], and if they had needs that were flagged, I sent them information to make sure that they had the best information [and resources] available to them.
Why did you apply to the internship?
The Levitt Center had sent out an all-campus email. Professor [Nancy] Rabinowitz was my literature professor, and I talked to her a bit about my plans moving forward. She saw the email and forwarded it to me and [said] “This would be great for you.”
What did your typical day look like?
I usually spent most of the day calling people, but we also attended a lot of webinars. For example, I attended [one on] reproductive justice and how that intersects with race. And there was another one about the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium about … the importance of trust and how they chose to do testing at community churches to help ensure that that trust is there because you can’t build relationships like in a normal medical practice.
What skills have you gained from your internship?
It’s made me a stronger person in a lot of ways. I was very afraid of talking on the phone … [now] I feel comfortable. I can see myself being more confident when talking to my supervisors or talking to my [peers].
Majors: Government and Women’s and Gender Studies
Hometown: Fairfield, Conn.
High school: Hopkins School
Is there any experience that sticks out to you?
[My supervisor and I] were talking about health disparities and how the race of the doctor can play into that when surveying POC patients, so another intern and I ended up doing a research project on that. It was a really cool project that we didn’t know we would be doing beforehand.
Have you previously had similar experiences?
After my freshman year, I worked at Senator [Kirsten] Gillibrand’s office in New York City as a casework intern. I was working largely with Medicaid, Medicare, social security, and disability ... I was exposed to those programs before, but it’s very different working in a non-profit setting.
Is there anything else that you’d like to add?
I think everyone should think about applying to SHECP. Because it’s a poverty education program, people [may think], “Oh, I’m not [a] government [major],” or “My studies don’t directly relate to that.” You do need to have a couple classes that are related to that idea, but there are so many types of internships available. It’s such a broad spectrum. Everyone could have a role is my takeaway from learning about other people’s positions.
SHECP is a collaboration among 26 colleges and universities to integrate classroom study of poverty with internships and co-curricular activities. It facilitates finding internships based on interests, puts together discussion groups of students doing similar work, and organizes talks for the students. The Levitt Center and COOP fund and help administer the SHECP internships.